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News ::
Momentous Decision (english)
02 Mar 2003
Saddam Hussein must have rejoiced nervously as he watched on television millions of protesters rally to oppose a U.S.-led war against Iraq. The anti-war crowds squealed angrily at Bush for wanting to dismantle the cutthroat Baghdad regime.
Where were the protesters anguish cries for justice when Saddam's troops murdered 5,000 men, women, and children in the Kurdish village of Halabja using chemical weapons-- VX, sarin, and mustard gas. Why don't these same protesters hold their demonstrations in Baghdad and denounce Saddam's regime for its brutal oppression and severe human rights abuses of the Iraqi people?

The day before the outpouring of anti-war demonstrations, chief U.N. weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei delivered a report to the U.N. Security Council citing improved cooperation by the Iraqi government and reported that inspectors found no evidence of banned weapons of mass destruction. Blix noted that the Al Samoud 2 missiles exceed the maximum 93-mile range allowed under Security Council resolutions. And that large quantities of bio-chemical weaponry remain unaccounted for. Based on Mr.Blix report, France, Germany, and Russia reiterated that inspections be allowed to continue to disarm Iraq without resorting to military force.

Indeed, it appears that President Bush and his ''coalition of the willing'' might have to pursue a forceful disarmament of Iraq without a second U.N. resolution authorizing military force. Since getting approval for the U.S.-backed resolution authorizing military force will require 9 ''Yes'' votes from the 15 member U.N. Security Council, and avoid a veto by China, France or Russia-- an unlikely outcome.

Shortly after the September 11 attacks, an anthrax attack on our nation's Capitol resulted in the shut down of the U.S. Senate. Our postal service suffered the loss of 2 workers and its equipment had to undergo decontamination. The nation was gripped with fear and uncertainty; its citizenry afraid to open their own mail. A mere few ounces of anthrax was all it took to inflict such havoc.

Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the U.N. Security Council documented the Iraqi regime's arsenal of bio-chemical weapons. Mr.Powell's list of proscribed items included the deadly biological agent anthrax--8,500 liters of the heinous brew. He said, ''Saddam Hussein has not verifiably accounted for even one teaspoonful of this deadly material.'' Since the 1990's, Iraq has been known to possess anthrax. When asked about the existence of its dangerous supplies of anthrax Iraq insist it was unilaterally destroyed--with no credible evidence to substantiate its claim. Anybody with common sense can see through this deception. In her masterful book Germs (Simon&Schuster,2001), New York Times reporter Judith Miller gives an exhaustive documentation of Iraq's bio-chemical programs, and their efforts to keep it secret and hidden.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Iraq is withholding a decision on destroying the Al Samoud 2 missiles. Blix ordered the illegal missiles destroyed when they were found to exceed the 93 mile range established, in 1991, by U.N. Security Council Resolution 687. The 93 mile range limit prevents the missiles from penetrating beyond Iraq's borders. With enemy forces massing in neighboring countries, waiting for the order to attack, it is possible Saddam could have the long range Al Samoud 2 missiles outfitted with bio-chemical warheads to ward off defeat.

No doubt, such a strategy is what Uday Hussein--Saddam's eldest son--may have had in mind when he warned the United States of a loss and calamity worse than the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In an interview on al-Shabab television which he owns, Uday menacingly declared:

''It is better for them (the Americans) to keep themselves away from us,'' and added ''Because if they come, September 11 which they are crying over and see as a big thing will be a real picnic for them, God willing.''

The U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, passed last November by a unanimous vote of the Security Council, calls on Iraq to disarm or face military action. It was intended as a ''final opportunity'' for Iraq to comply with U.N. mandates. Blix report has declared Iraq's Al Samoud 2 missiles in noncompliance with U.N. rules and ordered them destroyed. The Iraqis have responded that they would not destroy the missiles. Demonstrating, once again, Saddam's penchant for defying binding rules set by this international body.

As he has done in the past, Saddam can pretend cooperation while concealing from U.N. inspectors what he does not want to reveal. Secretary of State Colin Powell made a strong case before the Security Council detailing the ominous nature of Iraq's arsenals, and for the removal of the regime responsible for engendering them. We ignore that fact at our own peril.

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